By Michael Battista
The 2014 women’s soccer season was full of trials and challenges for every player and coach on the team, including then-freshman, economics major Jessica Goldman. After winning the NJAC title in 2013, the incoming class of new players had a lot of expectations focused on them. Goldman noticed this right away.
“As a freshman it’s hard to come into such a successful team and really comprehend the level that we play at,” she said.
But after that brief bit of adjustment, Goldman season’s skyrocketed into an award winning effort. Playing in all 22 games (20 of which she started), she was able to net eight goals — the third highest number on the team. She also yielded eight assists, and took a total of 29 shots on goal throughout the season.
For her efforts, Goldman was awarded NJAC Rookie of the year for 2014. However, she knows the effects of playing at such a high level.
“I think winning the award last year puts a target on my back,” she said. “I’m very proud of that achievement, but I am aware that it adds pressure.”
She also realizes that it sets a bar for her to reach in 2015, however Goldman doesn’t mind to reach farther than she’s gone.
“Even though that achievement is great, I’m not keeping the bar there,” she said. “I want to raise the bar for myself and continue to grow as a player in order to ultimately help my team get better.”
The team had an impressive run in the 2014 NCAA tournament making it all the way to the Elite Eight, beating opponents such as Allegheny College, Williams Smith College and Misericordia University. Goldman was even the deciding factor in the Williams Smith game, where she scored the game winning goal in double overtime.
“We had a fantastic turn around from a loss to Montclair to the NCAAs,” she said. “We played some of our best soccer in the tournament.”
The team’s run came to an end, however, after a close 1-0 loss to Williams College in the quarterfinals. The whole run showed Goldman just what being in a tournament can do to a player.
“That loss to Williams in the Elite Eight was something I’ve never felt before,” she said. “Being apart of the tournament and getting so far brings something out of you. I so badly want to get to a final four, and I know we’re good enough to do it this year.”
The team now has to prepare for the new season, with the first game on Tuesday, Sept. 1 against Gettysburg College. Goldman, now a sophomore, has high hopes for the team pointing out the strong class of new players joining the fray.
“The incoming class has a lot of talent and I think they can really add something special to this team,” Golman said. “We have one player, Arielle (Curtis), that has been doing very well stepping into the back line while we have a few injuries. They understand that they need to work hard to earn playing time, and does everyone on this team, and I think the fans should be very excited to see this new class.”
“We have so much talent and heart and I’m extremely excited for the season to start and for our 2015 team to show what we’re all about.”